|Name:||Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez.|
|Birth date:||March 6, 1927.|
|Breakthrough:||His first story, “The Third Resignation,” published by “El Espectador” a liberal newspaper.|
My Gabriel García Márquez
On the world stage, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is best known for his masterful contributions to the genre of magical realism. But in Latin America, this famous author is often equally beloved for his politics.
Many of García Márquez’s works contain both frank criticisms of corrupt South American dictatorships, as well as highly personal descriptions of life and love.
Early Life and Inspiration
Gabriel García Márquez, or Gabo, as many Latinos call him, was born in 1927 in a small Colombian banana town called Aracataca. His maternal grandparents raised him until the age of 8.
His grandfather, a veteran of the War of a Thousand Days, was a Liberal who told the young Gabo tales of duels and battles. He also took a very vocal stand against the massacre of banana workers that occurred in Aracataca in 1928, which no doubt influenced Gabo’s own political outspokenness.
Gabo’s grandmother was a very superstitious woman who fed her grandson’s imagination with tales of ghosts, omens, and other folk beliefs. It was her deadpan style of telling the most outrageous stories with complete naturalness that Gabo adopted for his most famous novels.
You could say that Gabriel García Márquez’s literary career began before the age of 10, when he was a schoolboy in Barranquilla.
He wrote poems and funny cartoons and the other students called him “The Old Man” for his serious attitude and love of literature. However, despite his love of writing, Garcia Marquez studied law in university. Fortunately for us, Gabo discovered Kafka while at university.
After reading Kafka, Gabo’s eyes were opened to the possibilities of writing convoluted narratives and non-traditional plots, and finally, in 1950, he officially abandoned his legal studies to become a writer.
At this stage in our Gabriel García Márquez bio, we find the author working mostly as a journalist, not a novelist. In 1955, García Márquez penned an expose about a Colombian shipping disaster, which offended the government and began the first stage of a de facto exile from his native land.
While living abroad, he began to write more and more about Colombia, creating magical novels infused with a political sensibility and a whole host of characters and events from his youth.
In 1982, Gabriel García Márquez won the Nobel Prize in Literature for, in the words of the Nobel committee, “his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts.”
Most Famous Works
Gabriel García Márquez’s most famous work is without a doubt One Hundred Years of Solitude. Published in 1967, this novel launched the Colombian writer onto the world stage. The novel is highly personal, and if you look closely while reading you will find many parallels to the author’s own life, especially his early years in Aracataca.
Another of Gabo’s popular novels, Love in the Time of Cholera, also drew inspiration from his personal life. This novel tells the tale of his parents’ courtship.
If Colombian history and politics interest you, you will want to read No One Writes to the Colonel or In Evil Hour, both of which deal with “La Violencia,” a period of extreme political upheaval and violence in Colombia that killed over 100,000 people. Many Gabriel Garcia Marquez short stories also deal with this period of time, either directly or obliquely.
You can learn more about Gabo’s life and works by reading a Gabriel García Márquez bio. The best one is probably his autobiography, Living to Tell the Tale.
Gabriel García died in April 17, 2014 in Mexico City, Mexico. He helped popularize the so called “Magical Realism.” He, is the one who once said: “Life itself is the greatest source of inspiration,” and that served him well when creating many of his amazing literary work.
- 1955 – Leaf Storm (Novella)
- 1961 – No One Writes to the Colonel (Novella)
- 1962 – In Evil Hour (Novel)
- 1962 – Eyes of a Blue Dog (Short Stories)
- 1962 – Big Mama’s Funeral (Short Stories)
- 1967 – One Hundred Years of Solitude (Novel)
- 1970 – The Story of Shipwrecked Sailor (Non Fiction)
- 1975 – The Autumn of the Patriarch (Novel)
- 1978 – The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother (Short Stories)
- 1981 – Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Novella)
- 1982 – The Solitude of Latin America (Non Fiction)
- 1982 – The Fragrance of Guava (Non Fiction)
- 1984 – Collected Stories (Short Stories)
- 1985 – Love in the Time of Cholera (Novel)
- 1986 – Clandestine in Chile (Non Fiction)
- 1989 – The General in His Labyrinth (Novel)
- 1993 – Strange Pilgrims (Short Stories)
- 1994 – Of Love and Other Demons (Novel)
- 1996 – News of a Kidnapping (Non Fiction)
- 1998 – A Country for Children (Non Fiction)
- 2002 – Living to Tell the Tale (Autobiography)
- 2004 – Memories of My Melancholy Whores (Novella)
If you want to know more about this prolific Colombian author visit this page where Gabo has a more complete biography filled with details.